Author

Shondiin Silversmith

Shondiin Silversmith

Shondiin Silversmith is an award-winning Native journalist based on the Navajo Nation. Silversmith has covered Indigenous communities for more than 10 years, and covers Arizona's 22 federally recognized sovereign tribal nations, as well as national and international Indigenous issues. Her digital, print and audio stories have been published by USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic, Navajo Times, The GroundTruth Project and PRX's "The World." Silversmith earned her master's degree in journalism and mass communication in Boston before moving back to Arizona to continue reporting stories on Indigenous communities. She is a member of the Native American Journalist Association and has made it a priority in her career to advocate, pitch and develop stories surrounding Indigenous communities in the newsrooms she works in.

Replacements for removing derogatory names on federal lands published

By: - February 24, 2022

The Department of the Interior’s Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force published a list of replacement names for the geographic features with the name “sq***,” which was officially declared a derogatory term last year by Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland. “Words matter, particularly in our work to make our nation’s public lands and waters accessible and […]

Deb Haaland touts infrastructure money for tribal water rights settlements

By: - February 22, 2022

During her visit to Arizona, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the agency’s plan to fulfill settlements of Indian water rights claims using money from the infrastructure spending plan that President Joe Biden signed into law last year. “Water is a sacred resource, and water rights are crucial to ensuring the health, safety and […]

‘They shouldn’t be afraid’: Non-profit provides relief for COVID-positive Navajo & Hopi families

By: - February 10, 2022

Glenda Wheeler handed a list of food items to her helpers for the day as they all stood behind their shopping carts inside the Window Rock Bashas’, ready to shop. Wheeler let them know they are serving four families today, and everything listed on the shopping list needed to be purchased to fulfill the request. […]

Senate panel advances study committee on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples

By: - January 28, 2022

As a way to give people a sense of how important it is to continue looking into the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples, Valaura Imus-Nahsonhoya shared a story with the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee on a missing person’s case she’s been working on just this week. Imus-Nahsonhoya is a citizen of the Hopi […]

U.S. Rep. Tom O'Halleran

Arizona lawmaker urges better COVID test distribution for rural, tribal areas

By: - January 24, 2022

Arizona Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran wants the White House to tailor the COVID test distribution program for the needs of tribal and rural areas.

‘The demand is still high’: Non-profit steps up PPE distributions across Navajo and Hopi nations

By: - January 20, 2022

Parked in front of a Bashas in Dilkon, near the southern boundary of the Navajo Nation in Arizona, Amanda Yazzie and Hector Begaye take a quick break inside their work van to enjoy some lunch, even as multiple vehicles continued to stop at the driver’s side window to honk for their attention.  Some vehicles move […]

Facing rising COVID-19 case numbers, the Navajo Nation issues new tribal public health orders

By: - January 14, 2022

Since the start of the year, the Navajo Nation has reported more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases, with as many as 405 cases on Jan. 13. In response, the tribe is updating public health orders aimed at curbing the spread of the illness. It also means that schools in Navajo country are once again at […]

Tribal leaders voice concerns about water, voting, COVID-19 to state lawmakers

By: - January 13, 2022

Water rights, the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, voting rights, and infrastructure needs were some of the common issues that several tribal leaders from across Arizona talked about during their visit to the Capitol to talk with legislative leaders about their respective sovereign nations as part of the 27th Annual Indian Nations and Tribes […]

Interior Department fielding nominations for committee to replace derogatory names

By: - January 11, 2022

The U.S. Department of the Interior is moving forward on its plan to replace derogatory names of places on federal lands and is seeking nominations for members of the new Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place-Names.  This comes nearly two months after Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland declared “squaw” to be a derogatory term […]

‘This is your police department’: Daryl Noon sworn in as new Navajo Nation chief of police

By: - January 11, 2022

Becoming the Navajo Nation chief of police was not on Daryl Noon’s radar when he started at the Navajo Nation Police Department in 2019 as the deputy chief.  He already liked what he was doing and was recruited directly by former Navajo Chief of Police Phillip Francisco after Franciso took charge of the department in […]

covid 19 supplies Jonathan Nez

Indigenous communities see COVID-19 increase, but at slower rate because of higher vaccination rates

By: - January 6, 2022

As COVID-19 cases surge across the country and reach near-record levels in Arizona, many of the state’s tribal nations are also seeing an increase in new cases. But numbers coming from Indigenous communities in Arizona are nowhere near what the state is reporting. Daily reported COVID-19 cases have continued to rise, with a 158% increase […]

Havasupai tribe, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, will block tourism until June

By: - January 5, 2022

Tourism has been closed on the Havasupai Nation since March 2020 after its government passed a resolution to temporarily suspend tourism.  Since then, the nation’s Tribal Council has extended the resolution four times, the latest being passed in December, expanding the suspension of tourism until June 1 due to COVID-19 concerns. “The Tribal Council has […]